Staggeringly Similar

BMW concept cars are somewhat special. Most of them turn out to be clear representations of what one can expect to get from the production phase. The latest BMW Z4 Concept included. BMW pulled a stunt by introducing the Z4 Concept at The Quail in 2017 and, just one year later we got the all-new 2019 BMW Z4. So, while you may still be smitten by the new Z4, I am taking the opportunity to show you just how different the new production Z4 is compared with the Z4 Concept. Or, just how similar it is. Despite losing some sharpness, edginess, and exclusivity of the Z4 Concept, I feel that the production version of the 2019 BMW Z4 actually retained most of the important design cues. Except for the most important ones of course, because, well, real life is never that good.

2019 BMW Z4 vs. 2017 BMW Z4 Exterior


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This is where the Z4 Concept differs the most compared with the production version of the Z4. If it were the same, I have no doubt its looks would not be compared with the Fiat 124 Spider, and I am positive no one would render the thing with the Suzuki Swift front end. Just google it, you’ll see. And like it probably.

Nevertheless, the truth is that the front end of the production Z4 does not feature massive intakes, a pronounced splitter, nor the design that we saw at 2017 Monterey Car Week.

Yet, the massive kidney-grille remained, albeit a bit different in its execution compared with the one on the Z4 Concept.

The one on the concept had an almost concave feel to it.

However, I have to rationalize all of the changes BMW did to the Concept car. Take into account that the company needs to be compliant with the safety standards, it has to install proper lights in line with clear regulations imposed by the governing bodies, and then it has to make it as good looking as possible. That is why that awesome and expensive looking bonnet (the grille is integrated with it) from the concept couldn’t find its place on the production Z4. Everything would just be too expensive. And then, with the Z4 costing as much as the 911 (at least), no one would actually buy it. The front lights tell the same story, they do not look bad, but aren’t as nearly as striking as those on the Concept.


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The rear end of the production car is far more convincingly executed than the front end. Heck, however you look at it, BMW obviously used all the same shapes. The L-shaped LED lights are there, as is the integrated decklid spoiler, those massive vents on the sides, the diffuser, and the fake exhausts as well.

Honestly, I am amazed by how accurate the rear end of the production Z4 looks compared with the concept.

The shapes aren’t as pronounced, I grant you that. The production version does not feature those fantastic bulges behind the headrests either. Man, I’d like to see that on a production version. The roof wouldn’t close in that case probably. What it does feature is an obviously powerful muscle look achieved with wide fenders.

Side Profile

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As is the case with the back of the car, BMW did not really think too much about reimagining the sides of the BMW Z4 M40i First Edition. Instead, the company has almost copied everything from the Z4 Concept, including the wheels, those pronounced powerful creases on the waistline and what’s behind the front wheels. It is basically the same as on the concept car. Again, a bit softened.

Nevertheless, the sheer looks of the new Z4 do tell us a thing or two - the car is in line with the concept, even more so than I ever thought it would be.

Yet, the changes are most evident where we did not want to see them at all - in the front. Unfortunately, that was to be expected as BMW needed to cheapen the production as much as possible and having a less sophisticated design certainly helps.

2019 BMW Z4 vs. 2017 BMW Z4 Concept Interior

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I feel that BMW outdid itself in the cabin department with the new Z4. Just note what is basically the same in the Z4 Concept and in the new BMW Z4 M40i First Edition:

  • Cool virtual digital cockpit much the same as the one in the Z4 concept? Check!
  • A massive screen in the middle tilted towards the driver? Check!
  • Three spoke steering wheel? Check!
  • Small digital cluster in the middle for the climate control? Check!
  • Handles on the doors virtually the same as on the Z4 concept? Check!
  • Small transmission lever with much the same look as on the concept? Check!
  • Same iDrive control by the gear lever? Check!

You know what BMW, I applaud you for your efforts in crafting the inside of the new BMW Z4. It’s basically the same as you imagined it with the Z4 concept last year. The similarities are, honestly, staggering.


2019 BMW Z4 vs 2017 BMW Z4 Concept Wallpaper quality High Resolution
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All in all, the new BMW Z4 is incredibly close in its stance, poise, look, character, and presence to the BMW Z4 Concept from last year. I feel that BMW would have the balls to put the concept car in the production only if it did not have to listen to people who were telling them to cut costs on the project and make it more in line with regular BMWs.

Heck, the limited edition Z4 First Edition (444 in production) is created to mimic the concept as close as possible, but I have a feeling that you may get even more similarities with the BMW Individual program.

I am sure BMW will make its Individual program available for the only true roadster it produces.

And yes, let’s not forget that the 2019 BMW Z4 First Edition M40i roadster features a full head up display. It is a first for the world of BMW Roadsters.

Further Reading

2019 BMW Z4 vs 2017 BMW Z4 Concept Exterior
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Read our review on the 2019 BMW Z4.

2019 BMW Z4 vs 2017 BMW Z4 Concept High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review of the 2017 BMW Concept Z4.

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Read more BMW news.

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